How Do I Measure My Resting Heart Rate
Also known as your basal heart rate because it is your base measurement
If you dont have a heart rate sensor, you can try measuring it yourself by checking your pulse. You can choose between your carotid artery or your radial artery .
You should never use your thumb to take this measurement as it has its own pulse, which could cause you to miscount. Instead, place your index and third fingers on either your neck or wrist. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and then times this number by four to calculate the beats per minute.;
The American Heart Association recommends checking your RHR first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. The caffeine in your morning coffee or tea will cause heart palpitations, so make sure you measure your RHR before making your heart rate rise.;
Dont attempt to measure your resting heart rate after exercise or a stressful event. Leave it an hour as your RHR is high after a workout or any strenuous activity. Allow your resting heart rate recovery time just like the rest of your body.;
Want to work out max heart rate? Use our calculator.
What If I Am Concerned About Some Of The Readings
Remember that your Apple Watch is not meant to help diagnose any medical conditions. However, we know how frequent it is to get alarmed by a reading we considered to be too high or too low and the best thing we do at that moment is google our heart rate. However, we strongly recommend to avoid doing that and instead, seek medical advice.
What Should Your Resting Heart Rate Be
Out of all the health stats to keep your eye on, your resting heart rate might feel like one of the more boring ones.
Seeing your heart rate rise while you’re exercising can be a confidence boost, letting you know you’re getting a good workout in. Checking it when your heart feels like it’s beating out of your chest is a fun reminder of just how anxiety-inducing some everyday situations can be like going on a first date or watching sports.
But when you’re just sitting down binge-watching some TV or typing away at your computer checking your resting heart rate can feel…anti-climactic.
And yet, it’s important to do now and then. A healthy heart is a strong heart, after all.
“Monitoring your resting heart rate is important because it can help provide clues about your overall heart health. For instance, a consistently high resting heart rate can be a sign that your heart isn’t working as efficiently as it could be. In some cases, it can even be a sign of an underlying heart condition,” explains Dr. Bindu Chebrolu, cardiologist at Houston Methodist.
Plus, one of the benefits of knowing your resting heart rate is that there are ways to lower it if it is too high.
Don’t Miss: Acid Reflux Cause Palpitations
How To Prep For Measuring Your Resting Heart Rate
When you make the baseline measurements for your resting heart rate, dont do any strenuous training leading up to the measurement and make sure youre fully recovered from any activity.
Its best to measure your resting heart rate in the morning, right after you wake up. You can do it the old-fashioned way with a timer and a finger on your pulse, but for an accurate and easy way, consider using a heart rate monitor.
Before you go to bed, make sure you have your heart rate monitor handy.
When you wake up, its OK to go to the bathroom before the measurement if it helps you to relax. Clear away all distractions, like music, and do not speak or be spoken to during the measurement.
Its best to measure your resting heart rate in the morning, right after you wake up.
You should do the measurement more than once, preferably on consecutive mornings so that you get a baseline for your resting heart rate.
What Things Can Affect Your Resting Heart Rate
A resting heart rate depends upon various factors such as your age, habits , and the type of physical work you do. Older people generally have a lower resting heart rate .
Factors that affect your heart rate temporarily are as follows:
Don’t Miss: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
Can Resting Heart Rate Be Too Low
While less common, some people may have a resting heart rate that falls lower than 60 beats per minute.
“When a person’s heart muscle is in excellent condition, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep a steady beat. Therefore, people who exercise frequently and are very physically fit can have a resting heart rate that falls below 60 beats per minute. In fact, a trained athlete’s resting heart rate can be as low as 40 beats per minute,” explains Dr. Chebrolu.
Additionally, medications, specifically beta blockers, can also slow your heart rate.
“The time to worry about a low heart rate is if you’re not very active and you’re not taking medications but your resting heart rate frequently falls below 60 beats per minute, especially if you’re also experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting,” warns Dr. Chebrolu. “This can be a sign of bradycardia a slower than normal heart rate that can lead to poor oxygen flow to your vital organs.”
What Should Your Heart Rate Be
Heart rate norms are based primarily on age rather than gender, although men tend to have slightly lower heart rates than women.
The ideal resting heart rate for adults is 60 to 100 bpm. Very fit individuals such as athletes may have resting heart rates below 60 bpm.
Target heart rates can be used to maximize the efficiency of your workouts, as well as to keep you safe. Typically, exercising at 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate is most beneficial.
To calculate your estimated maximum heart rate, you can use the equation of subtracting your age from 220. For example, if youre 45, then your approximate maximum heart rate is 175 bpm .
You can then use your maximum heart rate to determine what your target heart rate is while exercising.
The chart below shows estimated maximum and target heart rates for various age groups:
Recommended Reading: How Much Blood Does An Adult Heart Pump Every Day
Exercise And Heart Rate
Like any other muscle, your heart needs exercise to keep it fit and healthy. Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions, such as diabetes.
To keep your heart healthy, you should aim to do 150 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise a week. If you have a heart condition, talk to your doctor about what exercise and target heart rates are safe for you.
One way to measure the intensity of your exercise is by using your heart rate. To exercise at a low to moderate intensity your heart rate should be at 50 to 70% of your approximate maximum heart rate.
The easiest way to get an approximate maximum heart rate is to calculate 220 your age. You then need to calculate 50 to 70% of your MHR.
For example, if you’re 40-years-old:
- your approximate maximum heart rate is: 220 40 = 180 beats per minute
- 50% of your MHR is 180 X 0.5 = 90 bpm
- 70% of your MHF is 180 X 0.7 = 126 bpm.
Alternatively, you can use our heart rate chart below to get a rough idea.
Remember if you’re on medications to slow your heart rate down, you may not be able to meet these upper heart rates and the aim should be to exercise at a rate that makes you lightly puff.
How To Achieve A Heart
Exercising is the best way to get a heart-healthy lower heart rate. Increased cholesterol levels can also increase your heart rate, and exercise can also help lower them. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise spread throughout the week.;
There is another value known as the target heart rate that gives you an idea about how intensely you should exercise. It is recommended to exercise in your target heart rate zone, which is typically a range, expressed as a percentage of your maximum heart rate. Here is how you can calculate your maximum heart rate.
Subtract your age from the number 220, and you get your maximum heart rate. For example, if your age is 40 years, your maximum heart rate is 220 minus 40, which equals 180 beats per minute . The American Heart Association recommends exercising till you get your heart rate to 50% of your maximum heart rate. You can gradually build up till you exercise at 85% of your maximum heart rate. Therefore, at 40 years, if you want to get maximum benefits from your exercise, you should aim to exercise at 50-85% of your maximum heart rate of 180 bpm and that equals 90-153 bpm. You can consult a fitness expert to know what types of exercises are most appropriate for you.;See below the maximum and target heart rate chart.
Maximum and Target Heart Rate Chart
Also Check: Acid Reflux Heart Fluttering
Why Is This Blog About How Does Fitbit Measure Heart Rate Important
As we have discussed on How does Fitbit measure heart rate, measuring your heart rate can be beneficial and your Fitbit is equipped with an optical heart rate monitor, also known as photoplethysmography to measure heart rate. However, we need to consider some factors that could affect your heart rate and why it is necessary to take a deeper look into the measurements should a concern arise from them.;
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
How To Measure Resting Heart Rate
Whether youre a serious athlete looking to get a leg up in competition or a beginner who wants to optimize your health, knowing how to take and track your heart rate is crucial to your success. You probably already know that wearing a heart rate monitor while exercising can help you reach and maintain your target heart rate, but what about that rate when youre resting? That number matters, too!
In this guide, well go over how to track your resting heart rate and why it matters. With this know-how you can safely push yourself to the next level and stay on top of your health and wellness goals every step of the way.
You May Like: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
Adjusting Your Activity Level
Once youve determined your ideal heart rate for exercise, its important to use this information to help keep the intensity level of your workouts in check.
Slow down your pace and effort level if your heart rate during activity is higher than it should be based on your doctors instructions and the guidelines above. If its lower that it should be, work harder to ensure that youre getting the benefits of the exercise.
Start slowly during the first few weeks of working out, aiming for the lower end of your target zone. You can then build up gradually to the higher end of your target zone.
With a little practice and guidance from your healthcare team, youll soon be able to make the most of your exercise routine by measuring your ideal heart rate.
Target Heart Rate For Different Exercises
For an effective cardio workout, it is important to exercise at a certain level of intensity. Your target heart rate is a zone at which you can attain the level of exertion necessary for improving your cardiovascular fitness. Depending on your age, sex, level of fitness, the target heart rate zone will vary from 50 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. Here is the breakdown for understanding heart rate zones:
Don’t Miss: How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate
Heart Rate And Exercise
Exercise guidelines often suggest moderate to rigorous exercise for 20 to 30 minutes per day, but how do you know if your particular exercise qualifies? You can use your heart rate as a measure of exercise intensity.
Rigorous exercise will raise your heart rate to 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. What’s your maximum heart rate? Just subtract your age from 220. So, for a 50-year-old person, 170 is the maximum heart rate. Multiply that number by 0.7 to 0.8 to estimate the 70% to 80% range. For this 50-year-old person, the range would be 119 to 136.
Are Fitbits Accurate For Heart Rate
A study on consumer wearable heart rate measurement showed that the Apple Watch 3 and Fitbit Charge 2 were generally highly accurate across the 24-hour condition. Specifically, the Apple Watch 3 had a mean difference of 1.80 beats per minute , a mean absolute error percent of 5.86%, and a mean agreement of 95% when compared with the ECG across 24 hours.;
Recommended Reading: Can Too Much Vitamin D Cause Heart Palpitations
Ideal Heart Rate For Exercise
After youve gotten the hang of heart rate measurement, you can begin to calculate and monitor your target exercising heart rate.
If youre using the manual method of heart rate measurement, youll need to stop exercising briefly to take your pulse.
If youre using a heart rate monitor, you can continue your workout while keeping an eye on your monitor.
Your doctor can help determine the best target heart rate for you, or you can use general target zone guidelines to determine your target exercise heart rate based on your age.
According to the AHA, moderate-intensity workouts should be closer to the lower end of the target heart rate range that correlates with your age. Within the higher end of the range is the target heart rate for high-intensity, vigorous workouts.
The target heart rate zones noted below are based on what is equal to 50 to 85 percent of the average maximum heart rate for each stated age, and the average maximum heart rate is based on the calculation of 220 minus years of age.
Please be aware that the American Heart Association states that these figures are averages to be used as a general guide. If you feel this guide doesnt fit your personal exercise heart rate target for moderate or vigorous exercise, your doctor will be able to work with you on an individual basis to help determine the target heart rate range that is best for you.
|Target heart rate zone|
|75 to 128 beats per minute||150 beats per minute|
How Will You Spend Your Heartbeats
- Your resting heart rate appears to determine how long you live. And the things you do to lower your resting heart rate are good for your overall health.
- Theres at least one risk factor of having a very low RHR, but there seems to be a higher risk of overall disease at higher heart rates.
- Stress, physical or emotional, seems to be the most important factor in determining your heart rate.
- Exercise allows your body to adapt to stressful situations better. Additionally, it will enable your body to reach a deeper relaxed state as your heart muscle becomes stronger and your circulation becomes more efficient.
- How do you compare with your age group? I am in the athlete range, but I exercise regularly.
- If youre going to exercise, build up slowly so your body can adapt.
- I find the simplest exercises are the most effective. Theyre the ones you can do at home every day without going to the gym.
- High-intensity interval training is one of the quickest and most effective workouts for resting heart rate, HRV, muscle building, and weight loss. Why not give it a try?
- You have a maximum number of lifetime heartbeats, use them well.
Don’t Miss: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
Why Measure Your Rhr
Whereas your FTP;is a good indicator of your work,;resting heart rate can be a very good indicator of recovery. The proper combination of work;and recovery is necessary for continued improvement in your performance.;The goal is to fit in as much work as possible without accumulating excessive fatigue.
If you;havent put in enough work, youre simply not going to be fast enough. But, if you;havent recovered enough, you could be headed for a whole host of problems. A lack of proper recovery leads to fatigue, which holds you back from the benefits of;your training. Worst of all, excessive fatigue;often leaves you prone to illnesses that can derail your training.
Heart Rate Tips To Keep In Mind
- Start at your beginning.;Before getting overly concerned about your heart rate, Martin says, its best to simply get moving. If you havent exercised much before, start where youre comfortable and gradually exert yourself more over time.
- Listen to your body.;Your body provides other indicators of how hard its working that you need to consider along with heart rate. Pay attention to how hard youre breathing or sweating, and stop if you feel very uncomfortable, Martin says. Devices recording your heart rate have been known to malfunction, for exampleanother reason listening to your body is important.
- Remember that target heart rate is just a guide.;Dont get overly fixated on numbers, Martin says. Ideally, they just push you to work a little harder.
You May Like: What Branch Of Medicine Deals With Heart Disease